Friday, 6 May 2016

ABC Challenge 'A': Accent nail (& A-England)

Emiline of Nail Polish Society recently came up with a new nail art challenge inspired by the (English) alphabet. It initially looked daunting, as the schedule stretches on until December to accommodate all 26 letters, once a week on Fridays.

Then I started getting lots of ideas for several letters, and I realised that this is quite a brilliant challenge, because it leaves a lot of room for interpretation. But it is still a challenge because it does introduce a constraint - for instance, my previous striped design had absolutely nothing in it that would have fit the 'A' prompt. And I will be painting my nails at least weekly for the foreseeable future - so I'm on board!

Floral accent nail art using reverse stamping, with A-England Gloriana and Bridal Veil
A for 'accent nail' (and A-England)

Today for 'A', I've went for a design with an accent nail. Read on for all the details, more photos, and a video tutorial - plus links to all the other nail artists who've joined in on the challenge.

I found out about the challenge earlier this Wednesday, and as it's been a busy week I thought I wouldn't be able to get something done for today. I thought that I might just do an accent nail - and that's when I realised that 'accent' fits right in with the 'A' prompt!

I also chose A-England polishes to go along with the 'A' theme. On my non-accent nails I used two coats of 'Gloriana', a gorgeous bright red with gold flakes. Here's a close-up:

Macro swatch of A-England 'Gloriana' - 2 coats with top coat
Macro of A-England 'Gloriana' - 2 coats + top coat

On my accent nail I started with 'Bridal Veil', a black holographic polish (which I've used before in my spiral nails). Over this, I reverse-stamped a pattern from MoYou London's Explorer 03 plate. Here's the video showing how the reverse stamping process goes.

A video posted by Lili 🌷 (@polilish) on

As I've mentioned before in my previous posts about reverse stamping, I use a 'sticky' base coat (Glisten & Glow 'Stuck on Blu') to make the nail decal, for two reasons. First, unlike top coat, it forms a decal that is flexible and easily fits my curved nails. Second, it dries slightly tacky, so it can stick even to dry polish. Otherwise, I would have to paint on a layer of polish on my nail first before placing the decal.

Floral accent nail art using reverse stamping, with A-England Gloriana and Bridal Veil

The outline of the pattern is Hit the Bottle 'Champagne Shifter', a light gold stamping polish. I filled in the pattern with Gloriana.

Macro of floral reverse stamped nail art, with A-England Gloriana and Bridal Veil
Macro of the floral accent nail under sunlight

Finally, here are the links to everyone else who joined in this week's challenge. Do check them out (and leave me a comment before you do)!


  1. Love you accent nails. beautiful classic color combination :)

  2. Hahah ! Seems like we had the same idea :D I also did accent nail (which is one of my favorite "style" in nailart). Your nailart is beautiful ! And I will try the tacky base coat for my decals next time, thanks for the tip ;)

    1. Great minds think alike! Thanks so much for your compliment :) And I hope the tacky base coat trick works for you!

  3. Your accent nail is beautiful, as is this red polish. I've never tried a decal with sticky base coat before. If I ever get something like that, I'll try it out! I wonder if peel off base coat would work too?

    1. Thank you! :) Hmm I'm not sure about peel-off base coat, I suppose it should work as a decal, but I don't think it would stick to dry polish. I might give it a try!